Las Posadas 4-H Camp is one of the gems of the 4-H system in California. The camp is situated within Las Posadas State Forest, a beautiful 798-acre tract of forest land in the mountains northeast of Saint Helena, near the community of Angwin, in Napa County.
The property was gifted to the State of California by Anita S. Blake in 1929 who wanted it to be used for study and research work in forestry, botany, and related topics so that the forest’s abundant plant and animal life would be preserved. The State provides a lease to 4-H to operate a summer camp for local kids in Napa and five neighboring Counties so that the wonders of this amazing property may be explored. The 4-H Camp has operated within Las Posadas State Forest since 1929 and honors the wishes of Anita Blake by providing 4-H youth with a unique educational experience. 4-H enables America’s youth to emerge as leaders through hands-on learning, research-based 4-H youth programs and adult mentorship, in order to give back to their local communities, and the summer camp at Las Posadas provides many of these great opportunities.
The human history of this forest goes back thousands of years. It was occupied by the Wappo Tribe and their ancestors in prehistoric times. It was part of the historical Mexican Land Grant known as La Jota given to George Yount who operated a sawmill on the property by about 1839. An Irish family named Moore lived on the land during the 1840s. It was later sold to the John Morris family in 1878 for $1000 and a cow. The Morris family called the property Moore Creek Ranch. John Morris passed away in 1907 and his family sold the property to the Blake family in 1912.
Anita Blake and her husband constructed a cabin and used the land now the State Forest as their vacation property before donating it to the State in 1929. A Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was established at Las Posadas in 1934, and following the close of the CCC program in 1941, the old camp was used as a forestry camp, and rebuilt as a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) fire station in the early 1950's.
Picture yourself having a great summer camp experience in the rugged, shady scenery containing second growth redwood, Douglas-fir, Ponderosa Pine, oak and madrone with a perennial creek that flows past the campfire amphitheatre. Shy wildlife hiding in and around camp includes chipmunk, grey squirrels, raccoons, fox, gophers, field mice, newts, frogs, salamanders, snakes, pond turtles, wild turkeys, warblers, jays, tanager, sparrow quail, jack rabbit and black tailed deer to name a few.
Campers and staff sleep outside under a canopy of madrone on raised wooden platforms. Restrooms and hot shower rooms are located in girls and boys separate sleeping areas of camp. Our campers and staff dine together family style. A commercial kitchen is utilized by cooks who prepare 3 nutritious meals per day, served under a covered, open sided dining patio.
You'll be having fun with other campers your same age, sleeping under the stars and enjoying the great outdoors, eating in the historic covered Dining hall, and enjoying fantastic hiking in the state forest. We have many activities for summer fun and also a great staff. Each of the activity areas has staff that will help you learn or improve your skills in that area. Activities include Hiking, Archery, Swimming, Camp Fires, Arts & Crafts, Star Gazing, Basketball, Ping Pong and much more.
The biggest problem you'll have at camp is deciding which of the activities you'll like the best.
So grab your camera and come. We have a summer full of memories waiting just for you!
Las Posadas Camp 2008
Las Posadas 4-H Camp 1947
Typical Daily Schedule
Every morning, campers and staff are awakened by music over the loudspeakers with a message from the youth staff, “Campers. . . time to get up!” Everyone is given time to wake up, wash, and dress in preparation for another day of fun. All camp participants meet with their designated “tribes” at the flagpole for morning songs and inspiration. A filling breakfast awaits, where you can sit with friends new & old.
After breakfast, campers are dismissed to go to their morning activities which consist of 1 or 2 sessions each day. Campers participate in a rotation of activities such as; arts and crafts, barrinamics, swimming, camp history, recreation, nature, orienteering and campfire and more.
Following the morning sessions, it’s time for lunch and a much needed rest time in which campers can relax in their bunks, write scribes for campfire, or letters home or join their counselor at arts and crafts, outdoor cooking, or go for guided hike or swim. After rest time, campers can participate in afternoon activities such as the annual Water Carnival, or Crazy Olympics.
Daily “tribe meetings” keep everyone up-to-date what will be happening at the evening activity and what to prepare for the following day. Following dinner and the evening activity which could be a dance, Night Hike, or Bid-a-Buddy, tribes go down to the amphitheater for campfire, skits, songs and silly jokes. After embers, it’s bedtime to recharge for another great day.
Youth staff members are screened and selected from the Countywide Camp Leadership Project that is open to teens ages 14 through 19, traditionally held November through February. With the required completion of the project and selection processes, members can become tribe leaders, activity leaders, and with experience, perhaps become a Dean or Director who plan and oversee all operations of camp.
Training sessions are taught by approved adult 4-H program volunteers who serve on the Camp Board. These same board members supply leadership and guidance at camp as well.
Chaperones are enrolled, approved 4-H program volunteers that are age 25 years or older. A representative from each club that has members attending camp is required. They do not pay a fee in exchange for observing the campers and youth staff while lending gentle guidance if needed. They get to join in on the fun activities and watch the children form new friends and experiences. Occasionally they are asked to assist an activity leader, help the cook prep veggies or make afternoon snacks. At the minimum, there is to be one adult for every 10 youth.
Medical personnel who are currently certified/licensed, and from our own approved 4-H adults, is always on site. They receive a stipend for their valuable time caring for campers/staff who may need to take medication, need a band aid, ice pack, or asthma med's etc. at the first aide building where she/he sleeps. There is a hospital if needed, only 8 miles away.
A currently certified and 4-H approved Life Guard is annually hired by the 6 county camp board that has a room in the first aide building. This person is on duty all summer while counties rotate in for their time at Las Posadas.
The Cook and assistant are approved 4-H parents who also receive a stipend for their hours of menu planning, shopping, prepping and presenting up to 175 meals 3 times per day for the week. A county food safety certification training and examination must be currently in place and on site in the commercial kitchen which is inspected by the Napa County health inspector. Preparation assistance is provided by camp chaperones if requested. Dishes and Facility cleaning is assisted by the Youth Staff each evening.
Who can attend?
Campers must be an enrolled member of the 4-H Youth Development Program and be at least age nine (9) by January 1st and may not be older than 19.
Camp Leadership registration forms are available in the fall from Community Leaders and on our county web site.
Camper Registration forms are available from Community Leaders in February and on our county web site.
Nominal Camper fees vary each year.
Still have questions?
Contact the Camp Directors or Coordinators from your county!